The principle of sharing market risk, such as inflation risk, and intergenerational risk must remain in any updated pensions system in the Netherlands, a number of industry experts have argued.Speaking on a panel at the recent FD Pension Pro IPE congress in Amsterdam, Peter Borgdorff, director of the €140bn healthcare scheme PFZW, said: “There is not a single insurance against market risk.”His view was echoed by Michiel Hietkamp, chair of the youth branch of union CNV and one of the driving forces behind PensioenLab, who said solidarity among generations was “very important”, adding that the debate over the average pension contribution’s redistributive effects must be held anyway.In Hietkamp’s opinion, individual pension rights should be introduced where possible, but a collective approach should be kept where necessary to guarantee a minimum pension. Kees Goudswaard, professor of economics at Leiden University, said Dutch society was facing a fundamental choice between sharing pension risks between generations, and the introduction of individual pension rights.However, he argued that the first option would limit risk sharing if financial shocks were spread out over time – as the new financial assessment framework (FTK) is likely to prescribe – while increased freedom of choice would hamper risk sharing.In Goudswaard’s opinion, future generations should not have to contribute to the rising life expectancy of current participants.He also suggested that a clearer pensions contract would help to prevent possible disputes arising from the discretionary decisions of pension funds’ boards.However, both Borgdorff and Leo Witkamp, director of the €4.4bn pension fund PNO Media, highlighted the importance of this discretionary competence, which they said enabled boards to respond to unexpected developments, and to guarantee a balance in risk sharing among all participants.Borgdorff added: “We can’t leave these decisions to the supervisor or the legislator, as the government can’t be trusted for setting consistent rules.”● Also during the congress, several representatives of the sector underlined the importance of freedom of choice for participants to pick their preferred arrangements.Joep Schouten, retired sector veteran and now a pensioner on the board of metal scheme PMT, pointed at the psychological effect, “as people want freedom of choice, without necessarily using it”.● Asset managers warned that employers that opt for a defined contribution plan with lifecycle arrangements should not let price be the decisive factor, as low costs may come at the expense of the quality of the scheme.As lifecycle plans are currently difficult to compare, the sector is developing a framework to address this problem, according to Tjitsger Hulshoff, strategic adviser at ING IM, who underlined the importance of tailor-made solutions.● Systematically assessing risk management, sticking to a long-term investment policy and buying when the markets are low is the secret of a successful company pension fund, according to Loek Sibbing, until recently director at Univest Company, the asset manager for the 80 worldwide pension funds of food and cosmetics giant Unilever.Previously, Sibbing was chairman of Unilever’s €4.6bn Dutch pension fund, one of the best performers in the Netherlands, with a funding of 106% in real terms.
The finest bodybuilders in the country will put their carved muscle skill to test when the maiden edition of the Mr GH Flex Bodybuilding Championship comes off at the Multipurpose Court of the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday, September 1.The event will form part of activities to mark the 2018 Homowo festivities of the chiefs and people of Osu and assemble crack bodybuilders from across the country to compete for honours.Athletes will participate in categories including lightweight, middleweight, heavyweights and men physique pose.Speaking at the launch of the event, the Chief Executive Officer of Ultimate Fitness Palace, organisers of the event, Mr Arnold Anane Aryee said revealed that the overall winner will win a cash prize of GHC 5,000 and trophy while winners at the categories pocket cash prizes ranging from GH¢1,500 to GH¢500 in the top three positions.Mr Aryee also a former champion in the sport announced that he will join some established bodybuilders over the age of 40 for the special Masters Category. This will bring back on the stage some former bodybuilding kingpins including Christopher Anto a.k.a. Sabato, Paa Tee, Mustapha Richardson, a.k.a. Captain, Yaw Adofo King, Sam Addo, Kofi Salia a.k.a. Asaase and Yaw ‘Sweat’ Azure.The day’s activities will also be spiced up with a weightlifting competition dubbed ‘Mr Gh. Strongest Man’ on the same day. Participants would be drawn from the middleweight (0-85kg) and heavyweight (86kg and above) to take part in the bench press, squat and dead-lift.At stake is a winner’s prize of GH¢2,000 with the first and second runners-up walking away with GH¢1000 and GH¢500 each from the various categories. This year’s championship is sponsored by Ultimate Fitness Palace, Pulse Fitness, Ironman Supplements, CHAMPS with JOY Prime, Adom and Joy News as media partners.